10 reasons Busch, Harvick aren't buddies
When Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch tangled during Saturday night’s Showtime Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, it was hardly the first time fangs have been bared between the two.
Harvick and Busch have plenty of bad blood, first as drivers and now as team owners. Both drivers have strong personalities, and each can be hotheaded behind the wheel and abrasive out of the cockpit.
Here are 10 reasons the two don’t like each other:
1. Darlington, 2011: Busch and Harvick made contact late in the race, which resulted in Harvick’s car being pushed into teammate Clint Bowyer, who wrecked nose-first into the wall. Busch then hit and turned Harvick on the frontstretch. After the race, Harvick attempted to punch Busch on pit road, but Busch went out of his way to avoid him.
2. Michigan, 2008: On the last lap of the Cool City Customs 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, Busch dumped the Kevin Harvick Inc.-owned Chevrolet of Ron Hornaday Jr., infuriating the KHI squad. “If he’s going to race that way, he’s pretty chicken,” Hornaday said of Busch. “He doesn’t deserve to be a racer. That is flat stupid.”
3. Homestead, 2010: Harvick turned Busch late in the season-ending Ford 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race, resulting in Busch finishing 32nd. “Harvick pulled a slide job on me earlier in the day and I crossed over and passed him clean, but apparently it wasn’t in the time of day in order to do that,” Busch said. “ . . . It’s just a guy that doesn’t have his head on straight apparently today. I thought everything was good. I talked to him in the pre-race, in the driver’s meeting and all of that, but he’s such a two-faced guy it just doesn’t matter.”
Harvick, for his part, said, “He raced me like a clown all day — three wide, on the back bumper, running into me, and I just had enough.”
4. Rick Ren: Formerly Hornaday’s crew chief, Ren left Kevin Harvick Inc. at the end of 2009 to join Kyle Busch Motorsports. Harvick said at the time he gave Ren the OK, but it’s clear the move galled him.
5. Kurt Busch: Harvick and Busch’s older brother, Kurt, have a long and colorful history of mutual aggression. At Bristol in March 2006, Harvick spent much of his prerace media availability by taunting Kurt in his interview. Kurt refused to respond to Harvick’s barbs, then got some redemption by winning the race. “Good day for us, but I hate to see Kurt Busch win. He's a big whiner. But what do I know?" Harvick said after the race.
6. Truck owners’ championship: In its first year, Kyle Busch Motorsports won the 2010 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series owners’ championship, something that infuriated Harvick and his KHI team greatly.
7. Denny Hamlin: At Dover last fall, Harvick spun Busch’s teammate, Denny Hamlin, during Sprint Cup practice after Hamlin had accused Richard Childress Racing of cheating. Subsequently, the drivers’ respective crews nearly came to blows in the garage.
8. Joey Logano: Harvick and Logano, another of Busch’s teammates, have had several run-ins in the past couple of seasons, including the infamous battle at Pocono where Logano accused Harvick’s wife, DeLana, of wearing the firesuit in the family.
9. Social media: After Darlington, Harvick used Twitter to jab at Busch, at one point tweeting “ . . . awfully quiet in candyland . . . ” and “Enthusiasm is through the roof for team 29 this is a badass group of people.”
10. Just because: Racers are racers. They aren’t racing to make friends; they are racing to win, and Busch and Harvick are among the fiercest competitors out there. And neither one cares a bit whom he has to piss off to get it done.